The great debate: Can Christian believers be possessed or influenced by the devil?
1. NO: Faithful followers of Jesus cannot be possessed
- The evil one cannot harm God’s child. (1 John 5:18)
- Christians are able to overcome because Jesus is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4)
- Our sinful nature wants to do evil and Satan tempts us to do so. But when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we can refuse our sinful cravings. (Galatians 5:16-18)
1 John 5:18
“We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.”
2. YES: Christians can be influenced by the devil
Satan can influence or oppress Christian when they live in sin, have unforgiving hearts, or are greedy (Ephesians 4:27; 1 Timothy 6:10; Acts 5:3). In fact, unforgiveness allows Satan to gain a foothold in our deceptive hearts, the reason Jesus warns us not to sin in our anger.
Likewise, greed (covetousness), deception (lying), and all kinds of selfish ambition (self-idolatry) allow Satan to fill our hearts. The reason both sins, among others, were mentioned in the ten commandments.
Satan is the spirit that is at work in the disobedient. (Ephesians 2:2)
“… anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
“Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself.”
3. YES & NO: Demons are after Christians & non-Christians
Paul alerts Christians in Ephesus of the evil powers that extend to both unbelievers and believers. These spirits are malicious, the reason we must put on God’s armor. He wouldn’t warn us if they were harmless.
He said in Ephesians 6:12 that our fight (struggle) is not against flesh and blood but the following four spiritual enemies:
- Against the rulers
- Against the authorities
- Against the powers of this dark world (kosmokratoras)
- Against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Rulers and authorities refer to the demonic realm where Satan and the fallen angels are organized to wreak havoc until Jesus returns. Kosmokratoras is an astrological term describing the influence of the planetary system on world affairs.
Kosmokratór is the ruler of this world (Satan), asserting independence with God with angelic or demonic powers controlling the sublunary world.
Story of a Christian possessed by the devil.